Vocational Rehabilitation 100th Anniversary
Vocational Rehabilitation—100 Years Later
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first federally funded program to assist people with disabilities who had not acquired their disabilities as a result of serving in the military.
President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Fess Act of 1920, also known as the Industrial Rehabilitation Act and referred to as "The National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act," into law June 2, 1920.
“The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) plays a key leadership role through its resources and technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation programs and others,” said Mark Schultz, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) RSA commissioner and delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for OSERS. “Those 100 years of experience bring a responsibility of leadership on issues that impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to be employed and live independently.”
RSA will celebrate 100 Years of VR throughout 2020, and this page will house updated anniversary content.
Celebrating a Century of Success
June 2, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. OSERS' Rehabilitation Services Administration paid tribute to this historical occasion by showcasing how the VR program helped change the lives of students and adults with disabilities!
Access the transcript and additional VR100 materials and resources at the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM).
VR100 — Celebration of American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Programs
|WEBINAR||Youth and Family Perspectives, the Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities
Watch a WEBINAR with recent 2020 high school graduates and their family members as they discuss their work experiences while in high school as part of their secondary transition programs working with Maryland's Way‑2‑Work. [08/20/2020]
|WEBINAR||Pathways for Partnership
Watch a WEBINAR about VR agencies, centers for independent living, and special education coming together to help bring competitive integrated employment to students, youth, and young adults with disabilities. [08/10/2020]
|WEBINAR||Partnerships That Make A Difference
Watch the RSA WEBINAR that showcases two partnerships that are enabling individuals with disabilities to benefit from advances in technology. [06/25/2020]
|WEBINAR||Innovative Strategies from VR During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Watch RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz, State Directors and staff from five VR agencies and WINTAC discuss Innovative Strategies from VR During the COVID-19 Pandemic. [04/27/2020]
|VIDEO||Re-Release of a Vocational Rehabilitation Anthem
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of VR as well as the 30th anniversary of the ADA, VR stakeholders have re-released a VR song/anthem, "Lead On VR," in both a PODCAST and VIDEO. [04/24/2020]
|WEBCAST||Transition Experiences and Success Stories
View a WEBCAST of RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz moderating a panel discussion of transition services experiences and successes. [02/25/2020]
|PODCAST||VR Turns 100
Listen to a PODCAST by RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz as he discusses the 100th Anniversary of Vocational Rehabilitation. [01/30/2020]